Will Trent Season 2 Episode 2 Review: It’s the Work I Signed Up For

Reviews, Television, Will Trent

The episode picked up where the premiere ended, with Will confronting James Ulster at the prison. Confronting his worst enemy sent Will on a whirlwind of emotions.

Besides serving up a meaty prison storyline, Will Trent Season 2 Episode 2 also provided emotional character arcs for Angie and Michael.

Watching characters grow after they’ve hit rock bottom is rewarding, and we want to root for them.

While the series has featured horrific crimes in almost every episode, Season 2 has become even darker, featuring flashbacks of the trauma Will endured in foster care.

It became apparent that his past shaped Will to eliminate monsters like James and that he has no patience for James’s negotiations and games.

This case had many twists and turns. Initially, it seemed like James was responsible, but he wasn’t versed enough in “prison” speak and was trying to stay under the radar.

James: The world has gone mad. A bombing at the GBI. A dead agent. You don’t think I had anything to do with that?
Will: Car bombs aren’t your style, but you know how things get done in here, don’t you

When James went undercover to sniff out the culprit, the other prisoners, especially Mackie, saw through his act and started beating him. That was the only time we’ve seen Will enjoy watching a fight.

Will was probably too emotionally invested in this case, partly because he was there when Cricket died and because of his history with James. Faith got better intel from the prisoners and negotiated a plan more smoothly with the warden.

As Will teased, if she were in that prison, she would run her cell block within a week. Faith Mitchell is a badass!

No one really talks among a prison gang. To do so could kill you. The walls are listening. Both Mackie and Ron Flashwood learned that the hard way.

Will’s frustration increased as every time he thought he knew someone was running the gang, someone else died. It wasn’t until they realized a nurse was an accomplice that they struck pay dirt.

To get any info, Will had to make a deal with the devil, and while he was negotiating with James, the power went out, and he was locked in there with him.

That was his worst nightmare because now James had what he wanted — a chance to speak with Will Trent uninterrupted.

Everything was a game to James, from taunting Will about his childhood to inquiring why Will hadn’t killed him yet. It was like he wanted to enrage Will to kill him so he wouldn’t have to finish his sentence.

James finally gave in and provided Will with info about where Jack, the real culprit, was, but everything had a price.

Even when James saved Will’s life, it wasn’t only because Will was his son. He wanted also to kill Jack so he’d be the top dog at the prison.

It’s hard to imagine Will being James’s son. Will swore he was not returning to see him, but stranger things have happened.

Will has always longed for a family, but getting acquainted with James won’t be healthy for him, nor will getting to know Lucy’s brother. He barely cared when his sister died, only noting that she became a prostitute.

These are the people whose decisions put him in foster care, so he needs to focus on his “found” family. While it may take time to forgive Amanda, Will still has Betty and Nico.

It’s apparent that Nico was worried about Will, so it’s good that someone looked out for him.

Fixing that toaster oven came partly from his need to survive but partly from his talk from Cricket, so she had a considerable influence on him, too.

Angie has always been the one who needed help, so seeing her as a sponsor was an interesting role. Joey has been where she has been and needed someone to believe in him.

Angie: Hey, drug addict, it’s okay to be happy.
Joey: Okay, your boy got a job!

Unfortunately, his new boss had a sexual assault record and got him high. He did the right thing by calling Angie. It was probably beneficial that Angie was at the GBI when the call came since she hadn’t been reinstated to the police force yet.

Even though Angie and Amanda often butted heads, having Amanda along proved helpful. It just felt choppy when we only saw a minute of the ladies bonding over their past relationships or planning Joey’s rescue before returning to the prison drama.

Angie longed to prove herself to Amanda professionally and personally, which she finally did as they worked together to get inside the house and found Joey scared inside the pantry.

Angie’s strength is with troubled teens. She helped Nico, rescued the teen girls from the trafficking ring, and now saved Joey. Hopefully, we’ll see her mentor him throughout Will Trent Season 2.

Of course, Angie’s past with one teen, Crystal, returned to haunt her. It’s awful that Crystal’s mom left her because she couldn’t handle dealing with her after Lenny’s death. How will that affect Angie moving forward?

While it was the B storyline, Michael fighting for his family was Jake McLaughlin‘s best work on the series so far. Almost losing his son changed his priorities.

I almost felt sorry for him. Michael wanted to work as a family to help Max finish his school project, but Gina couldn’t wait to escape. That was probably better since he needed male bonding time with his son.

Michael needed to make amends since he had neglected his family for his job and his affairs, and he feared his son was developing a cavalier attitude about life and shirking his responsibilities by skipping school or failing to do his schoolwork.

By the time they become teenagers, they shouldn’t need a parent overseeing every assignment, but in fraught, chaotic homes, things can get overlooked, so the fact that Michael recognized that and stepped in was terrific.

Teaching Max that everyone makes mistakes was more than about his science project. He was also talking about his own mistakes, and it seemed like Max heard him.

Micheal: People make mistakes, Max, like you not doing your science project. It can be fun to shirk your responsibilities, but if you keep doing that, things that do matter end up slipping away from you.
Max: Then what?
Michael: Then, you fix it.

I’m unsure if schools would allow a handmade gun as a science project to demonstrate target practice and velocity, but it was a warm father and son scene, and Max had never looked happier learning from his dad.

There was so much tension in that house that it had to be difficult for the kids.

That was a low blow, accusing Michael of playing “super dad” so he would look better and like he wanted to save their marriage more.

There are no winners here. Gina was correct. She used to blame the other woman like Angie and forgive him as long as he returned. 

But now he laid his heart out, begging for another chance in the most honest plea. These intimate moments have helped reform Michael from an arrogant, angry jerk to a man longing to repair his family.

We’ve dug in deep into Michael and Angie’s personal and professional lives, but we haven’t scratched the surface yet on Amanda or Faith’s.

Over to you, Will Trent Fanatics.

Do you think Lucy’s brother will show up next in the series? Are you enjoying these intimate looks inside Michael’s personal life?

Let us know in the comments.

Laura Nowak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on X.

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